Do the birds sleep when they fly?
Birds are one of the most crowded vertebrate species with more than 10,000 species. As we know, when the temperatures are low and the days are shorter, birds migrate to other places suitable for them. Birds are constantly on the move to find the best living conditions and food sources for them.
So how do birds that have to fly for days, weeks, or even months without landing on the ground meet the need for sleep ?
When birds flew, it was not certain whether they slept or not. Only half of their brains were thought to be awake when they were in the air, while the other half were thought to be asleep.
As a result of the research, new data were obtained that support this idea was correct. Scientists have obtained new information using a device that displays the electrical activity of the birds in their brains and can study head movements. As a result of the data, the birds normally found on land slept 12 hours a day but slept 41 minutes in the air.
However, birds do not sleep without interruption when they are in the air, and these sleep patterns occur in short periods of sleep. As they flew, half of their brains were confirmed to be asleep while the other half were awake, while one eye was also revealed to be open.
Data from the open eyes are evaluated in the non-sleeping part of the brain. This way, they can be protected from the dangers surrounding them. They usually sleep in areas with high-rise air currents, so they can maintain control of the air. It’s rare when they sleep on both sides of their brain. These sleeping times are very short.